After a successful showing at the Drake Invitational two weeks ago, the Northern Illinois women’s tennis team fought its way to another positive outing at the DePaul Invitational as the Huskies claimed five titles on the final day of a three-day competition Sunday afternoon.
“I can’t complain at all about the results,” said NIU Head Coach Ryun Ferrell. “We started off slow Friday, which was no fun but finished incredibly well. You have to lay it on the line on Sundays when everyone is exhausted. We played that way; didn’t play that great but still did really well in doubles.
“I’m excited for the future. We still have to work on serve and return and playing smarter but it was nice this weekend. The girls can take away from this weekend that they can be successful when not playing their best, which is good to know and see.”
NIU held strong in doubles by going 3-1 on the day.
In Flight A, the Huskies earned two consolation titles as Nelle Youel (Crystal Lake, Ill./Crystal Lake Central) and Arantza De La Torre (San Luis Potosi, Mexico/Motolinia) defeated fellow Mid-American Conferences foes Sujashvili/Remynse 8-2 and Haley Dekkinga (Allegan, Mich./Allegan) and Cristina Alvarez (Zaragoza, Spain/Cristorey and Sagrado Corazon De Jesus) took down Valparaiso’s Zakiewiecz/Fredlake 8-1.
Flight B provided the Huskies with their third consolation title as Maria Rozo (Bogota, Columbia/Gimnasio Femenino) and Stephanie McDonald (Harare, Zimbabwe/St. Anne’s Diocesan College) topped Lewis’ Mills/Wetmore 8-5. NIU nearly had a fourth doubles consolation championship as Mary Malkin (Tel Aviv, Israel/Alliance) and Ilse Pacheco (San Luis Potosí, Mexico/Alma Patria) were up 5-2 on Lewis’ Markgraf/Nguyen but the duo was unable to hang on, losing 8-5.
In singles play, NIU won a Flight A consolation title despite Youel and Dekkinga not playing each other in the match. Ferrell did not let the Huskie vs. Huskie match happen after both played so well in doubles.
In Flight B, De La Torre fell in her consolation match to Milwaukee’s Kurer 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (3).
Rounding off NIU’s fifth consolation championship was Malkin after defeating Valparaiso’s Bartles 6-4, 6-3 in Flight C. In the same flight, McDonald lost her consolation match to Chicago State’s Lloyd 7-5, 6-2.
In Flight’s D and E, Alvarez lost to her consolation match to Chicago State’s Perez 46-, 7-5, 1-0 (5) and Rozo fell in her consolation to Illinois State’s Paulson 6-1, 5-7, 1-0 (8), respectively.
With seven titles won in their two fall events, the Huskies will now have three weeks to prepare for their final fall competition, which are the ITA Regionals in Rockford, Ill. Oct. 19-21.
“That’s what I like – this is the first fall we’ve been really relevant in every event we played,” Ferrell said. “It’s a lot of fun because the kids work so hard and deserve success. We have three weeks before the ITA Regionals so we are really going to get them to work like they’ve never worked before.”
For more information on NIU women’s tennis and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.